Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

HHS: O’Connor: What Nerds Can Learn From Wedgies?

Uhh…avoid The (Bob) Melvin at all cost?

Could Dustin Ackley actually have performed worse because of advanced baseball metrics?  Was he on fangraphs late at night looking at his ground ball percentage and his BABIP and wondering if his successes were flukes or his shortcomings were surmountable?  It’s possible, as Ackley is young and plays in a progressive city and just might hear terms like WAR and wOBA tossed around at home and around the batting cage.

More likely, though, Ackley goes about his job largely ignorant of the numbers that claimed he was worthless (though baseball-reference and fangraphs sure liked his defense and baserunning).  Like other non-pitchers, he spends time on the field working on turning ground balls into outs and getting himself on base.

And that’s just it.  It appears that Wedge’s reference to sabermetrics really runs no deeper than on-base percentage.

...We all know Wedge is not alone as a baseball insider questioning the validity of more advanced research and its encroachment on the game, particularly in the front offices from which he receives his marching orders.  When outsiders suggest that a team could be better managed by restructuring lineups, platooning more, or using relief pitchers differently, we’re certainly prone to overlooking the impact of these changes on the actual human beings playing the game.  I’m sure the Reds would win more games if Joey Votto hit second and Zack Cozart hit… I don’t know… 84th, but how would Votto react to being told he needs to leave what he’s always been told is the “heart of the order”?

But does this insider/outsider dichotomy really apply to Ackley’s situation?

I suppose it’s possible that Dustin Ackley knew he was worth close to 3 WAR in his rookie year (3.7 per b-r and 2.9 per fangraphs), then less valuable in 2012 (2.8 and 1.1, respectively) and basically worthless in 2013, and that knowledge crawled under his skin and robbed him of whatever focus and drive made him a valuable player in 2011.  It’s more possible that Ackley was a bit of a mirage in 2011 and when his bat regressed the following season, his career took the same route as so many careers before his, including his manager’s.  This outsider thinks sabermetrics played more of a role in Wedge’s bosses’ decision to demote Ackley than in Ackley’s failures.

Repoz Posted: May 29, 2013 at 01:02 PM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. bookbook Posted: May 30, 2013 at 12:21 AM (#4455384)
The sabremetrics of noting that hitting .207 with no power or walks is a problem? Wedge's bosses are numerical geniuses.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Guts
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(2767 - 11:34am, Sep 17)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(826 - 11:34am, Sep 17)
Last: The Good Face

NewsblogChris Davis Rescues Man Pinned Under Truck
(28 - 11:34am, Sep 17)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogBryan Cranston’s One-Man Baseball Play Inspired By ‘Looney Tunes’ Is Incredible
(46 - 11:27am, Sep 17)
Last: Batman

NewsblogPedro pens a letter to Clayton Kershaw
(28 - 11:25am, Sep 17)
Last: Eddo

NewsblogWith 8-2 win Tuesday, Orioles clinch first American League East title since 1997
(14 - 11:25am, Sep 17)
Last: Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq.

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-17-2014
(11 - 11:23am, Sep 17)
Last: Batman

NewsblogRyan Zimmerman Watches Nats Celebrate From Afar
(1 - 11:23am, Sep 17)
Last: Jeff Francoeur's OPS

NewsblogSteven Matz, other top minor league Mets to be honored at Citi Field on Monday
(41 - 11:22am, Sep 17)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogNed Yost Is The Worst Manager, Except For All The Other Managers
(46 - 11:11am, Sep 17)
Last: snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster)

NewsblogA’s lose Triple-A Sacramento affiliate
(61 - 11:09am, Sep 17)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogOT August 2014:  Wrassle Mania I
(178 - 11:02am, Sep 17)
Last: Rowland Office Supplies

NewsblogNew approach on offense has Pirates in playoff contention this season
(19 - 11:01am, Sep 17)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogBarry Svrluga, WaPo: Washington Nationals can celebrate the present — and their future
(1 - 10:35am, Sep 17)
Last: Dingbat_Charlie

NewsblogCalcaterra: Derek Jeter got a bucket of crabs and a captain’s hat from the Orioles
(21 - 10:31am, Sep 17)
Last: JE (Jason)

Page rendered in 0.1906 seconds
52 querie(s) executed